Speak out!

Your Opinions

November 27, 2005

An abundance of readers - including many students - responded to our question two weeks ago about a school board proposal for starting the high school day 15 minutes earlier to alleviate lateness problems buses are experiencing because of traffic. We received more responses than we could publish last week, so here are more.

Stay off roads during key times

In the interest of saving money, I believe it would be beneficial to refrain from altering the time at which school will start and stop by 15 minutes.

Since the purpose of shifting the location of bus stops to the main roads was to decrease the amount of funds distributed toward transportation, the efforts would seem futile if $400,000 was spent to change the schedule of the school day by an increment of 15 minutes.

While increasing the time between high-school and middle-school dismissal could solve the problem buses are experiencing with traffic and arriving at a designated time, it is not the only solution. The issue can also be resolved by informing citizens of this problem and suggesting that they do not travel on main roadways between the allotted time period when students are released from school, unless it is necessary.

This method could possibly decrease the amount of transportation present while buses are returning students, and thus, eliminate traffic.

Additionally, taxpayers will not be burdened with the weight of the taxes resulting from the $400,000 expenditure and students will not be forced to relinquish 15 minutes of vital sleep.

Shiara Price Edgewood

Move start times later, not earlier

There has been a lot written lately regarding the fact that teenagers do not function well early in the morning and we are already requiring them to start school very early. Most adults don't even have to start their jobs that early in the morning.

My recommendation would be to move the middle school and elementary schools to a LATER start time if an adjustment must be made to school start and finish times.

Anita Killmeyer Forest Hill

High-schoolers have to get up early enough

I am a senior in high school and I think that this is one of the worst ideas that the school board has proposed. High school students get up early enough for school as it is.

Unlike middle school and elementary school students, high-schoolers have jobs. In addition to school and having a job, there is homework.

Kristen Leyhe Forest Hill

Earlier time may mean safer ride

When it comes to the transportation of students, it is crucial to take every action imperatively. Buses are running on tight schedules trying to safely transport all high school students to their destination before middle school dismissal. The proposal that high school students would start school 15 minutes earlier would give bus drivers a more lenient time schedule.

If having high school students start school earlier could cause a less stressful bus ride for the bus driver, the transportation may become safer for the students. School officials have estimated it will $400,000. However, if it comes down to the point to where this may lead to a safer and less stressful way of transporting thousands of students, then there should be no question.

Heather Del Gallo Bel Air

Earlier start time wouldn't be fair

I strongly disagree with the idea of starting school 15 minutes earlier. I know many other seniors may disagree on this fact mainly because they're saying, "Hey, we're graduating, it doesn't affect us," but that's where they're wrong.

There are seniors with younger siblings and neighbors still attending school. What happens when a student oversleeps and the parents ask the graduated student to give their sibling a ride to school. That's a farfetched situation but it can happen, and the graduated student would not be too happy. Also think about if you were still in school when this rule was going into effect, which way would you go?

People should think about the situation as if they were still attending the school, give the same benefits that the other students have to our students of the future. Don't change everything they know; it's not fair to them.

You may simply say, "Hey, who said life was fair?" which is true but life isn't fair in certain situations. We can't help the fact that earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes happen. But by getting rid of the meaningless topic of starting school 15 minutes earlier you can help make the world more fair.

Don't just think about what the adults of the world want. The kids are the adults of the future so their sentiments should matter as well (which, by asking for these opinionated essays, we can tell you're interested in our viewpoints of the subject).

Let's not just look at the cons - there are pros, too, such as getting out of school earlier, more time to do homework and relax with family. Students may also get more sleep time if they get to bed early enough. Also, it might help students get used to the real world, when they might have to get up after they graduate high school and possibly college.

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